The School of Environmental and Life Sciences (SELS) contains over 60 academic staff who are nearly all involved in research training and professional research programs. The Biology, Biotechnology and Chemistry research programs have access to a vast array of state-of the art technology including mass spectrometers, electron and confocal microscopes and NMR. The laboratories are well resourced and there is a vibrant research culture supporting national and international visitors and seminar presentations.
Researchers and their groups have gained well respected reputations reflected by publications in many high impact international journals and presentations at international conferences. The researchers in SELS have successfully formed nationally acclaimed Research Centres via extensive networking and collaborative initiatives, and Research staff in SELS have also worked collectively within the school and across faculties to form Priority Research Centres. Many of the research staff work in highly specialised fields and work with a smaller number of collaborators and form smaller research groups which are all highly productive in terms of publication output.
The staff are funded by ARC and NH&MRC grants as well as other specialised funding bodies. The Faculty provides research support for each of the research higher degree students on an annual basis and the University provides some levels of basic equipment and infrastructure support. The major research support asset is provided by the University of Newcastle Analytical and Biomolecular Research Facility which provides some of the very expensive large equipment required for modern research. These facilities include a high resolution ICP-MS, DNA sequencing, LC-MS, GC-MS, Electron Microscopy and animal house services.
The research and laboratory facilities are excellent and there are opportunities to develop multi-disciplinary skills and build research networks via the nature of the diverse fields of expertise within the disciplines. Field work is a major component of many of the research higher degree programs and many opportunities exist to develop these skills in areas of geology, geography, ecology and marine biology. Excellent GIS resources are available and the Faculty provides specialist vehicles for remote access to field sites.
Research Higher Degree (RHD) Students
Postgraduate research in the School of Environmental and Life Sciences reflects the diversity of the research profiles of our academic staff, research centres and groups. Students are involved in-depth study to understand existing information, to develop new data or ideas, and to distill these into well-structured and insightful research theses.
Students can choose to undertake a research higher degree after completing an honours degree or equivalent prior research learning. There are two important aims for research higher degrees:
- To complete a carefully supervised research program that represents a significant contribution to the particular field of study
- To provide training in undertaking research in your field of study
Research higher degree candidates may be eligible to spend time in overseas research institutions and have the opportunity of interacting with visitors from overseas and from other Australian groups when they come to Newcastle.